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Free Falling

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Tom Petty - Free Fallin' (via TomPettyVEVO)

Hard to believe but we are not playing the worst baseball in the NL West.  On August 25th the San Diego Padres were 27 games over .500. On Sept 20th they are 17, because of an 11 a 10-game losing streak. They righted their ship by sweeping the Dodgers, but have gone only 4 - 7 since then. If the Padres had not been fortunate enough to play the Dodgers they would be 7 - 18 since Aug 26th. 

The Padres find themselves in a tough bind. Their best pitcher may have hit the wall, and some wonder if he has already thrown to many hard innings this year.  Do you keep sending him out, hoping to make the post season or close him down?

Professional Innings:

2007 - 56, 2008 - 56, 2009 - 122, 2010 168 and counting

Mat Latos looked like he was up to the task of carrying the Padres on his back. Over a five start period from Aug 14th - Sept 7th Matt Latos was simply incredible.  He didn't pitch deep averaging just over 6 innings a game but while he was pitching he was Gibsonish  Gibsonesque.  33 innings, 23 hits, 4 walks, 45 K's, and his OPS against was .501. The Padres replaced Jake Peavy with a better version.

To bad for Latos the season didn't end on Sept 7th. As the Padres started to falter he simply didn't have what it would take to stop the slide. His next start on Sept 12th he didn't get into the fifth inning for the first time since April 26th. On Sept 17th the wheels came completely off as he managed to only get four outs before giving up eight earned runs.

I take no pleasure in the Padre slide, I had hoped that if the Dodgers couldn't be in the post season, that Cinderella might as well be. Adrian Gonzalez is doing his best to keep the offense afloat but he's surrounded by Theriots. Ryan Ludwick was expected to give him some help but Petco has sucked the life right out of his bat. He hit a big game winning home run over the weekend against the Cardinals but for the most part has been Loneyish in his ability to deliver the power the Padres need. For once when we match up our offense with our opponent it will not look one sided.

We have Andre, they have Adrian

We have Theriot, they have Eckstein

We have Kemp, they have Ludwick

What the Padres don't have is AJ Ellis.

Coming at us this week will be:

Clayton Richard, Tim Stauffer, and the above mentioned Latos. Richard had been solid all year until the Rockies tattooed his ass for eight earned runs in his last start. Former fourth pick of the  2003 draft Tim Stauffer had been excellent pitching out of the bullpen once he came back from an injury. He moved into the rotation due to rotational injuries and has made three starts in a row.   Latos will be hoping to right the ship after two disastrous starts.

This would not appear to be a playoff team, but baseball is baseball so who knows how it will work itself out. Once the Padres are done with us they have to play the Reds, Cubs, and Giants. They have owned the Giants this year winning 10 out of 15, and I'll be rooting like hell for them to make that 13 out of 18 during the final series of Giant baseball this year.